Violet Dennison

Triennial: Songs for Sabotage

13 Feb – 27 May 2018
New Museum, New York


Press Release

There is seaweed on the walls. This is at once an objective statement and an imperative concept: that seaweed does not commonly address walls, nor even people, and thus wants, and wills, its escape. The seeds which the seaweed generates drop away, they freely circulate—by attaching to your clothing or by just getting swept up with the other molecular informants they will inevitably mix and exchange with—and someway the seaweed finds its way back to the source it seeks: water, the wild, away from us. The seaweed is originally collected in Florida, a state where myth identifies its original exploration as the place where the fountain of youth could be found. Not much has changed in this vein, as similar explorations into seaweed looks to its hopeful health benefits. The more we look into the waters—for health, for youth, just anywhere that is not here—the more we look back into where we come from, perhaps wanting and willing for our own escape. Appearing like circuitry or deteriorating muscle tissue, the appearance of the seaweed charges the fact that both technology and the body succumb to nature, a return to the natural state as it were, and in this state undermines the museum and its walls by pointing out that it cannot nor ever will be deadened material.